Community Issues

Syracuse Mom Who Lost Son to Gun Violence Starts Initiative to Help Others

She's carrying on her son's positive message


Rasheada Caldwell is no stranger to gun violence. She lost her son Rasheed (pictured below) in 2017 when he was shot and killed in front of their family home in Syracuse, NY. He was studying at their local community college at the time and was about to earn an Associate's degree. The shooting rocked the community. Rasheed was a popular young man who was a football and basketball star in high school and he also volunteered at a few youth organizations in the city.

His motto was, "Let me be great."

Rasheada is carrying on Rasheed's words by starting the initiative "Let Me Be Great, Girl Talk", which will provide scholarships and mentor-ship opportunities to young women in the community. The program recently received a $230,000 grant through the Syracuse-based non-profit, Peace, Inc., and will provide 140 girls with opportunities in career exploration and teach them leadership skills.

"We'll teach the girls on being great at who they are, being great in society, teaching them etiquette, teaching them about self-worth," Caldwell said in an interview with CNYCentral .

Rasheada has been an advocate for gun safety and speaks often about her experience with gun violence and the pain of losing her son. She urges parents and guardians to talk with their children to make sure they understand the real consequences of getting involved in gangs and other violent activity.

"Shake up your kid's rooms, shake up their beds and their backpacks. We have to do better. Aunties, Uncles - we have to come together."

You can learn more about "Let Me Be Great" by visiting the organization's website . You can also check out Peace, Inc., here .

(Source: images Let Me Be Great Facebook page )

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